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Greece pledges to honour debts, not to undermine fiscal targets (Updated)

By Jan Strupczewski

Greece asked euro zone countries for a six-month extension of its bailout programme on Thursday, pledging to honour all its debts and not to take unilateral action that would undermine agreed fiscal targets, a document seen by Reuters showed.

It appeared to go very substantially toward the position taken by euro zone finance ministers in earlier negotiations.

The formal request by Athens will be discussed by junior ministers and central bank officials in a teleconference later on Thursday and by euro zone finance ministers in Brussels on Friday.

“The Greek authorities honour Greece’s financial obligations to all its creditors as well as state our intention to cooperate with our partners in order to avert technical impediments in the context of the Master Facility Agreement which we recognise as binding vis-à-vis its financial and procedural content,” the document said.

It said that the purpose of the six-month extension of the MFA – the bailout programme – was, among other things, to “ensure, working closely with our European and international partners that any new measures be fully funded while refraining from unilateral action that would undermine the fiscal targets, economic recovery and financial stability”, it said.

That appeared to commit the new left-wing government to holding off much new legislation and to “supervision” by the three institutions overseeing the bailout – the European Union, European Central Bank and International Monetary Fund. Known as the “troika”, that group has become widely hated in Greece.

The document, however, did not use the informal terms “troika” or “bailout”.

Euro zone finance ministers will meet on Friday at 1400 GMT (16.00 Cyprus time) in Brussels to discuss Greece’s request for a six month extension of its bailout programme, the chairman of the ministers Jeroen Dijsselbloem said on Thursday.

“Eurogroup Friday in Brussels as of 15.00 (CET),” Dijsselbloem said in a message on Twitter.


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